Flu Season: What to Expect This Year
Flu season starts soon. “This year may be worse than usual”, doctors say.
A pediatric flu death has already been reported in the U.S. “We should never forget that the flu can kill. I always recommend people get their flu shots every year, but death so early in the flu season suggests this year may be worse than usual," Dr. Kaiser said.
The season generally starts in October and peaks in February. “Now is the best time to get your flu shot," CDC press officer Scott Pauley told USA TODAY. "You want to get it before the season really starts."
This season the potentially deadly virus is in rare form. Public-health experts are predicting that this year’s flu will be severe for several reasons. Cases are starting up early, which is one indicator of an aggressive virus. Another worry: Australia’s flu season typically augurs that of the U.S., and so far, this year, Australia recorded 2½ times as many cases, compared to the same period last year.
In the six flu seasons between 2011 and 2016, the CDC estimates the influenza vaccine prevented each season, in the U.S.:
Anywhere from 1.6 million to 6.7 million illnesses
790,000 to 3.1 million outpatient medical visits
39,000 to 87,000 hospitalizations
3,000 to 10,000 respiratory and circulatory deaths
During severe season 2017-2018 it is estimated the vaccine prevented:
7.1 million illnesses
3.7 million medical visits
Why Is It Important?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about 8% of Americans get the flu each year and that thousands die from the flu and related illnesses.
Flu seasons are unpredictable, but this upcoming season may be a really bad one. Here's why you need a flu shot.
What You Need to Know
Annual flu vaccination is recommended for all persons aged older than 6 months who do not have contraindications.
If you get the flu vaccine, you are about 60% less likely to need treatment for the flu.
Flu viruses used in flu shots are inactivated, so they cannot cause infections.
Getting the flu shot gives the potential to reduce illness and prevent time lost from work.
Century Medical, PC provides flu vaccination at 6 Essex Center Drive, Unit 211, Peabody, MA 01960
We are open Monday to Friday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm!